New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Roses are red, violets are blue, unsure about Valentine’s? Galentine’s is for you!

No Valentine’s date? No problem! Here are three ways to celebrate Galentine’s Day, a holiday focused on friendship, self-love and fun.
Daniel Yee
(Illustration by Daniel Yee)

Valentine’s Day can be divisive, splitting the population into two groups — those in a relationship and those not. Just because you don’t have a partner to indulge in PDA with at Bobst doesn’t mean you can’t experience the magic and love of the holiday. With a few tweaks, you can turn a holiday that seems to be trying its hardest to remind you of the lack of romance in your life into one that celebrates friendship and self-love.

As a girl who has spent most of her life single, I used to think Valentine’s Day was not for me. The cliche cards, cheap chocolates and dying roses always made me sick with jealousy. That was until one day, I watched a sitcom that mentioned Galentine’s Day, and my life changed. Since then, I have found that Galentine’s is a celebration of the sacred love that we find in friendship, especially female friendships, and a celebration of ourselves — a declaration that we are loveable no matter our relationship status.

Of course, anyone of any gender can join in on the fun. As Galentine’s Day can be quickly altered to Palentine’s Day, and, since Galentine’s Day unofficially takes place on Feb. 13, your taken friends can also join in on the fun — as long as they don’t spend the whole time talking about their romantic partner.

So, how does one host a good Galentine’s? Luckily for you, my lack of a Valentine’s date this year has helped me create the perfect guide.

For a cozy night in

This is the comfiest way to celebrate and my personal favorite. Tell all of your guests to wear their favorite pajamas — extra points if they’re pink or red — and bring the softest blankets.

Food: A cozy evening should be simple with sweet and easy snacks. Since it’s later at night, there’s no need to provide dinner. For an easy and delicious treat, melt some chocolate with a dash of coconut oil — to prevent it from hardening — and set out a plate with your favorite fruits and voila, you have a chocolate dipping station. Also, ask your guests to bring their favorite snacks. You’ll have a table full of chips, fruits and candies in no time. Since a movie will probably be in the cards, microwave popcorn is a must too.

Drinks: Depending on the age of you and your guests, you may be indulging in a mocktail or alcoholic beverage. For a night in, you don’t want to be stuck bartending, so buy a bottle or two of prosecco. On a budget? Don’t worry! Trader Joe’s sells bottles for under $10. If you are not allowed to pop bottles quite yet, go with a classic — sparkling apple cider. Use some love script straws and plastic gold champagne flutes from Target for an elevated presentation.

Activities: Once you and your guests have plates of food in your hands and cups filled with bubbly, it’s time to cuddle up on the couch or your dorm bed to watch a movie. If you’re looking for a romance story that still focuses on women’s empowerment and friendship, “Legally Blonde” is the way to go. Want a movie that focuses on the ups and downs of womanhood? Queue up “Shiva Baby” or “Unpregnant.” Reflecting on womanhood and the beautiful friendships it can bring is the perfect way to honor the true meaning of Galentine’s Day. And finally, if you don’t find Valentine’s Day scary enough already, stream “Jennifer’s Body” and imagine that your friend’s evil ex is the one getting eaten. All of these titles are on Max, which is free for all NYU students living in residence halls.

For a boisterous potluck

Potlucks are the perfect gathering for bigger friend groups who can’t crowd around the TV for movie night. Be sure to make a spreadsheet so you know what everyone is bringing — organization is key!

Food: The best part about hosting a potluck is that you only need to put a pink tablecloth down and wait for the food to come. That said, you still need to contribute a dish or two. If you have access to a kitchen and minimal cooking skills, pair some Trader Joe’s heart-shaped pasta and canned vodka sauce, or get pre-made pizza dough and make a heart-shaped pizza with all the toppings your heart desires. Can’t cook? Order a Heart-Shaped Pizza from Papa Johns, and, if you signed up to bring dessert, Trader Joe’s has a delicious chocolate mousse cake for only $4.49.

Drinks: For a potluck, be sure that someone brings the liquor or mocktail materials. If you’re in the 21-and-up club, craft a Love Potion Cocktail made with raspberry vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice and grenadine. To avoid the alcohol, substitute the vodka for club soda and enjoy. Alcoholic or not, add pink sprinkles to the rim of your glass and top your drink with some pink cotton candy for a finishing touch.

Activities: The main event of a potluck would be eating, — shocking, I know — giggling about the best memories with your friends and enjoying the company you have over. If you’re looking for more to do, board games and card games are the perfect tabletop activities. Some dorms even have games that you can borrow for free.

For a self-care session

Practicing self-care and manifesting your future is so much more fun when you’re with people who truly care about you, so why not make self-care a Galentine’s tradition?

Food: Two words: charcuterie board. Charcuterie boards are completely customizable and can be made with more affordable or expensive ingredients, depending on what your college budget allows. Trader Joe’s has a large selection of cheeses and different meats like salami and prosciutto to craft a budget-friendly board that is sure to please. If you’d like to spend a little more, head over to the Wegmans on Astor Place and browse its extensive cheese and crackers selection. If the idea of building a board overwhelms you, Wegman’s also sells Pre-Made Charcuterie Boards starting at around $22. Though traditional charcuterie boards are primarily made with meat and cheese, there is no limit to what you can add. For a dessert twist, make a board filled with different candies and desserts, like store-bought mini cupcakes and chocolates.

Drinks: Since charcuterie boards are in the mix, it’s only fair that I suggest a wine to my 21-and-up crowd. I’m no sommelier, but if you are looking for an affordable bottle to share with your friends, Trader Joe’s has a reasonably-priced selection of wines, like Tenebres, a red wine that only costs $5.99. If you prefer a non-alcoholic beverage, mix some sparkling water with berries to feel extra fancy.

Activities: We know the common self-care practices: face masks, yoga, etc. But for this self-care session, I suggest you focus on your inner self. Since it’s only the second month of 2024, you still have ample time to plan out and manifest the coming year. Try creating a vision board with your besties. Have all of your guests bring magazines, pictures, stickers and other craft supplies. Turn on some music and have everyone create their own collage using photos from magazines that they can use as a vision board for their year. After, share your aspirations with your friends and talk about how you can all support each other’s goals. It may seem overly emotional or cheesy, but Galentine’s Day is the perfect time to get emotional and show gratitude toward your friends and yourself.

Contact Annie Emans at [email protected]

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